We returned this evening to Step 3 on Exile. St. John concludes by simply telling us that exile - simplifying one’s life - creates a stable character. This is a precious gift and so we must guard our minds and our hearts so that we do not corrupt ourselves by entering once again into what is worldly and disorderly. Saint John concludes Step 3 by taking a moment to speak to us about dreams. A dream involves the minds activity when the body is asleep. The mind, as we know, can be very active; often swept along by the things of day-to-day life or by what rest deep within the unconscious. Saint John warns us that the demons can use our dreams by playing the role of prophet. They convince us that our dreams have deep meaning, they tell us something important about the future, or tell us what is happening in a loved one’s life. Demons can transform themselves into angels of light and lead us into a kind of unholy joy and conceit over what is revealed within our dreams. We can find the demons making sport of us when we so much credence to their interpretation. Therefore, we should distrust our dreams; knowing that like the fantasies in our waking hours they can be used against us in dangerous ways.
We then turned to Step 4 on Obedience. Saint John begins to emphasize its importance for us in the spiritual battle. We are to seek this as one of our most important weapons because it conforms us in a special way to Christ - whose food was to do the will of His heavenly Father. An obedient soul listens deeply to what God and one’s superior is telling him. Obedience protects us from the delusion of our own judgment, opinions and reasons. We do not see all ends and the fact that we ignore this does not go unnoticed by the evil one.
Text of chat during the group:
00:11:12 FrDavid Abernethy: page 66 paragraph 24
00:28:36 Lee Graham: Entertaining our thoughts while awake
00:34:29 Iwona Bednarz-Major: Aquinas says that our imagination can be seen by demons (and good angels, as originally they are both superb intellectual beings), since they are formed in our intelligence. Is that where the spiritual warfare takes place in dreams (logismoi)?
00:39:26 Ryan Schaefer: At Franciscan U a lot of students supposedly had visions. Some students seemed very proud of the fact that they’ve seen angels, seen the future, etc… always seemed like a red flag to me
00:43:56 Bridget McGinley: Little nervous, I don't dream ( at least I don't remember). My soul!?!?
00:46:50 Cindy Moran: ]
00:49:09 Ryan Schaefer: The TORs at Franciscan always told us that we would receive consolations if we are following Gods will. Often they said if we are not following God then we would NOT receive a “spirit of peace”. Is this incorrect? How does this relate to para. 29
00:52:05 Rachel: Everytime I've read this, it has confused me a bit. Since it can be dangerous to speak about the interior life on account of the demons who will try to trick us at every moment, how are we supposed to approach confession and the revealing of thoughts to one's confessor or spiritual director? Even here it seems to me one has to be very discerning and careful.
00:52:10 Rachel: LOL
00:56:29 Ambrose Little, OP: well!
00:56:56 Rachel: Okay, ! That was what I was going to ask about the grace of the Sacrament. But we went on to dreams etc. :) I think when I first became Catholic this witnessing was something that made me pause. Wow, thank you
00:57:04 Iwona Bednarz-Major: Fr. David, continuing my previous thought, I was always thinking that demons can only have an insight into our inner life based on our behavior but lately I've read Aquinas: Summa, First Part, Question 111. The action of the angels on man
Article 3. Whether an angel can change man's imagination? with hims stating: “I answer that, Both a good and a bad angel by their own natural power can move the human imagination. " and then explaining further that thought: “An angel changes the imagination, not indeed by the impression of an imaginative form in no way previously received from the senses”, I was perplexed. If you would have any insight on that from your perspective in the future, that would be great. Thank you.
00:58:57 Rachel: Oh, I missed this week's class. 🙃
00:59:47 sue and mark: ok, thank you..
01:02:43 Iwona Bednarz-Major: thank you
01:18:02 Lee Graham: I totally agree with you
01:20:45 Anthony: Obedience has a very important role in daily work. As craftsman is obedient to the methods of the trade and masters; a government worker is obedient to the law's "you shall" in regard to enforcement - especially when he does not want to enforce the law; a day laborer is obedient to the payor. Obedience is especially essential in a medieval guild system. All life is master-apprentice.
01:22:44 Anthony: mass commodity is modern edicatin
01:22:49 Anthony: education
01:22:59 Ashley Kaschl: Sorry I didn’t type fast enough before but I wanted to touch on what you were saying a paragraph ago about obedience and humility.
I think you’ve said before that at the heart of the word ‘Obedience’ is the meaning ‘to hear’, and that humility, being tied to obedience, is prone to silence.
I was thinking about something I heard a couple years back from my pastor that the word Silent, is comprised of the same letters which spell the words Listen and Enlist. So it just brought to mind that in humble silence of our prayer we listen (obedience) for His voice so that He can enlist us in the particular task He has set before us, that we might be caught up in God’s purpose.
01:23:54 Carol Nypaver: Wow!
01:27:15 Cindy Moran: Thank you Father...so wonderful to be here!
01:27:17 Sheila Applegate: Thanks again, Father.
01:27:20 Ryan Schaefer: God bless you father thank you!
01:27:21 Art: Thank you Father. Goodnight all.
01:27:21 Miron Kerul Kmec: Thank you
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